By Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator, Thursday November 15, 2012
Fallen acorns a threat to kids with allergies
A York Region mother is fighting to have oak trees removed near her child’s school, fearing that acorns could pose a deadly threat to students with severe allergies.
Donna Giustizia said the young trees on property owned by the City of Vaughan next to St. Stephen Catholic Elementary School are littering the area with acorns. The school, meanwhile, is nut-free to protect students with potentially life-threatening anaphylactic allergies.
“A false sense of security is putting a sign on the door that says nut-free and there’s nuts all over the place,” said Giustizia, who has two teenage children with anaphylactic food allergies, one of whom attends St. Stephen.
“I’m not a crazy mom, I’m not asking for anything that’s not already there.”
Giustizia appeared before Vaughan’s committee of the whole last week to plead for the removal of the trees.
Several councillors at the meeting questioned the precedent that removing the trees might set. Thornhill/Concord Councillor Sandra Yeung Racco wondered whether removing these trees would mean having to remove oak trees from other public properties where children with allergies might be exposed.
Councillors referred the matter to staff to prepare a report on the issue. City communications manager Ted Hallas said in an email that staff wouldn’t release details of the report before it is presented to councillors. (Source: Toronto Star)